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Painter Barry Gealt's Lecture Reflects on Creative Process Oct. 25
For release: October 12, 2007
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Painter, drawer, and printmaker Barry Gealt will speak about his work and his creative process at the University of Memphis at 7 p.m. October 25 in the Meeman Journalism Building Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Gealt, a Philadelphia native, grew up as a “big city kid with little natural artistic ability.” Nevertheless, he fell in love with painting and studied at the Philadelphia College of Art, where he received a B.F.A. in design in 1963. He eventually left town to pursue a graduate degree in the painting program of Yale University’s School of Art and Architecture, where he earned an M.F.A. in 1965.

He has taught painting and drawing at Indiana University’s Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts since 1969.  He retired from IU in June. 

Until the early 1980s Gealt’s work centered on figure painting. He focused on his wife, family, and friends, specializing in stories about domestic life. After training himself to focus on the human figure, Gealt shifted his artistic focus to his farm in Owen County, Ind. The farm, which sits on 120 acres of rolling hills complete with trees, streams and a waterfall, provided a new set of challenges from which Gealt emerged as a landscape painter.

His paintings explore the theme of change and its risks. They reflect his peaceful and spiritual surroundings but don’t gloss over seasonal changes, shifting weather patterns and cycles of time. For Gealt, the complex landscape represents daily life in “which we are confronted with so much natural beauty, yet so many horrors.”

Gealt’s work is physically impressive, created with dense layering, thick paint and ink application. The surfaces of the images are molten ­­– built up and scrapped off until the paint reaches a visceral, undulating quality. His paintings evoke a feeling of looking outward, or up close to observe minute details of form, creating a pictorial illusion to bend space and dramatize nature’s setting. His recent work consists of a series of long and narrow landscape images created with paint that cascades like water. It suggests apocalyptical catastrophes, both joyful and sad, compelling yet unsettling.

Gealt’s work has been in more than 50 exhibitions. He has received more than 20 awards for research and teaching, and his paintings, drawings, and prints are in more than 60 public and private collections in the United States, Germany, Italy, Turkey, and Japan.  He is represented by the Kunsthandlung Osper Gallerie in Köln, Germany, the Collins Lefebvre Stoneberger Gallery in Montreal, and the Mark Ruschman Gallery in Indianapolis.

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Last updated: 03/20/2008 15:56:46
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